Why Are Toilets Made of Porcelain? – 6 Main Reasons

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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why are toilets made of porcelain

Have you ever entered the bathroom and sat on your throne wherein after a few moments, you stopped and thought, “Why are toilets made of porcelain?” Don’t worry, it’s not an unusual question.

The toilet material is porcelain because it has the following characteristics:

  • durable and sturdy
  • non-porous (to avoid waste being stuck on the bowl)
  • easy to clean and sanitize
  • comfortable

This article will explain why porcelain fulfills health precautions and other possible materials for manufacturing toilets.

6 Main Reasons Why Toilets Made of Porcelain

Did you know that the last queen of France, Mary Antoinette, had a commode with a porcelain pot to catch her waste in the 1770s? Although, she didn’t have today’s flushing mechanism.

The comfort of having your own water closet didn’t exist in the past. People used to share public toilets, except the affluent, who could afford their own. Made worse by the underdeveloped sewage system, this caused water-borne diseases like cholera.

It wasn’t until the 1860s that better sewers and more advanced toilets made of porcelain and ceramic surfaces were built.

Why do you think porcelain is our holy grail material? There are multiple good reasons for the use of this material:

1. Non-Porosity


Toilets made out of porcelain are non-porous or they have no “pores” that allow dirt absorption. This quality makes them waterproof and resistant to moisture.

Non-porosity is essential to a fixture like a toilet where we empty our waste because this will prevent the latter from being stuck into the material. While this doesn’t look good appearance-wise, it is also detrimental to our health.

Moisture resistance is also important as this guarantees the absence of mold and mildew. This will be an issue for a non-porcelain toilet or even a toilet seat made of wood, for example. While some may vouch about protective coatings, a wooden seat is prone to mold.


2. Resistance to Corrosion

Porcelain has resistance to corrosion which is why we use them a lot in creating plumbing fixtures.

However, toilets not made of metal can still acquire rust. Especially if you have an old plumbing system with iron or galvanized pipes, the water it brings may corrode the toilet over time.

Hard water may also rust porcelain toilets because of high levels of calcium and magnesium.

But don’t worry about these; we can easily prevent rust stains by regularly cleaning our commode, which is made accessible because of porcelain (more on this later!).

3. Comfortability


We saw one complaint on Reddit about metal toilets making our bums freeze. It makes sitting uncomfortable that you might even choose not to use it.

Thankfully, this doesn’t happen with a porcelain toilet because ceramics are a good insulator, meaning they can maintain a normal temperature despite the room or environment’s temperature changes.

4. Easy to Maintain (Cleanliness and Sanitation)


A ceramic toilet is easy to clean and maintain. Because of porcelain’s non-porosity, we don’t have to worry about having to perform intensive cleaning from time to time just to keep the material in its original color.

With simple and regular cleaning using trusted toilet cleaners, we can ensure a sanitized commode and keep the bathroom safe for health.

5. Durability

Different people with varying weight measurements might have to sit on the same toilet. On top of that, the time they will spend on the commode will vary. With this in mind, the toilet material should be sturdy.

Good news: porcelain toilets are strong and durable. But do make sure that you don’t drop anything heavy on the toilet, as the sudden impact may cause cracks.

6. Aesthetic


A bathroom is an essential place where we spend a lot of time preparing. Therefore we must consider its interior.

While they are of plain colors, modern toilet bowls—especially shiny porcelain—provide a clean aesthetic to the interior. Plus, many kinds of toilets nowadays, such as wall-mounted or intelligent ones, can contribute to the bathroom look.

Benefits of Porcelain Toilets


A benefit from the manufacturing perspective is that porcelain’s combination of glass and clay (china and ball clay) plays a role in how toilets are made; they become easier to shape.

From the user’s perspective, the notable advantages of porcelain toilets are the following:

  • cleanliness
  • easy maintenance
  • durability
  • aesthetic properties

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why Aren’t Toilets Made Out of Metal or Plastic?

Toilets made out of metal or plastic do exist but are rare and are only installed in particular places.

Metal or steel toilets are usually seen in prisons to ensure the safety of the people inside since this material cannot be used as a weapon. Property damage can also be avoided if uncontrolled violence occurs.

Plastic toilets, on the other hand, can be expensive to mold and will need high-quality plastic material. Even so, its caliber is not at par with porcelain’s sturdiness and other benefits, such as easy maintenance for sanitation.

Are Most Toilets Ceramic or Porcelain?

Ceramic or porcelain in particular is still the material used for most toilet bowls because of their unparalleled quality and advantages. Although, the material used for the toilet seat covers may vary in the market, such as wood or plastic.

Does the Porcelain in Toilets Wear Out?

Poor maintenance such as lack of cleaning in toilets wears out the appearance of the porcelain. Hairline or large cracks due to impacts, when not addressed immediately, may also cause the material to break.


Many are wondering why are toilets made of porcelain instead of other materials like metal or plastic. While there are commodes manufactured using the latter materials, porcelain is still the top choice because of its characteristics.

Ceramics, particularly porcelain, are waterproof and moisture-resistant. These traits ensure that the toilet can be kept clean and sanitary. Porcelain is also more comfortable to sit on because it doesn’t take the heat out of our skin.

Overall, porcelain toilets are durable and sturdy, allowing us to put our weight on them without the risk of damage.

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